Newsletter #558

Robert Taylor has finally signed and looks set to make his début ‘live’ on BSkyB tomorrow night at Molineux. As City’s latest signing comes to the fore, a familiar face from last season recedes further from view. Joe Royle has dropped Terry Cooke from the squad for the first time, ostensibly to give him time to regain some form!

This issue has Peter’s News Summary, an attempt at a definitive City bibliography from Dave Butler (additions solicited), a review of City Magazine from Carol, and much else besides.

Next game: Wolverhampton Wanderers away, Friday 3rd December 1999


Taylor Completes City Move

Robert Taylor has completed his move from Gillingham to Manchester City. And the 28-year-old striker rejected the chance to play Premier League football both north and south of the border to come to Maine Road. Joe Royle revealed that Taylor turned down a more lucrative deal with Hearts after the Edinburgh club agreed a fee with the Gills. And now the player has said that he also had the chance to play in the English Premiership, confirming the rumour that George Graham had made a late bid for the striker’s services. “I heard they [Spurs] had come in, along with Watford and Hearts, but I have had my eyes fixed on City and no-one else,” commented Taylor.

City Stay Top After Charlton Lose

Charlton Athletic missed the chance to knock the Blues off the top of Division One on Tuesday evening. A two goal win for the Addicks over Blackburn at the Valley would have sent the Londoners clear of City. However, a brace from ex-City striker Ashley Ward earned Rovers a 2-1 win. Charlton are now three points behind Joe Royle’s team from the same number of games and a point behind Huddersfield, who’ve played a match more.

Allsopp’s Gills Move Breaks Down

City striker Danny Allsopp will not be moving to Gillingham. The striker was due to have talks on Wednesday with Gills’ manager Peter Taylor and chairman Paul Scally, but it’s now been confirmed that the deal is dead. City manager Joe Royle told the club’s official website at, “Danny is out of the formula with the deal for Robert and remains at Notts County on loan. It is a straight £1.5m transfer.” The first month of Allsopp’s loan at Meadow Lane expires next week and there’s no word as yet on whether there will be an extension. County had earlier been linked with a bid to sign Allsopp on a permanent basis but this is now thought to be an unlikely prospect.

Royle Explains Cooke Decision

Joe Royle has been explaining his decision to leave Terry Cooke out of the Blues’ seventeen man squad for Friday’s trip to Wolves. The City manager feels that Cooke has been below his best this season, and is backing the player to rediscover his form in the reserves. “At the moment Terry is not firing on all cylinders,” Royle told the club’s official website at “The first thing he has to do is admit that to himself and the second thing is to do something about it.” Royle pointed to the example of former skipper Jamie Pollock, who has forced his way back into the reckoning in recent weeks after being out of favour in the early part of the season.

Royle to Sell Before Buying Again

Joe Royle has no plans to make further additions to the City squad following the acquisition of striker Robert Taylor. And that suits the Blues’ boss, who’s been talking about his side’s Premiership potential. Mindful of the need to avoid assembling a squad as bloated as the one he inherited from Frank Clark, Royle won’t open the cheque book again until he’s managed to offload some of his transfer-listed players – the likes of Michael Brown, Craig Russell, Tony Vaughan and Chris Greenacre are all available, while Danny Allsopp now appears surplus to requirements. However, the City manager isn’t worried by this state of affairs since he feels his current side is good enough to sustain its promotion challenge. “I think that, on our day, we’re the best team in the division,” he told the Internet daily Football 365. “We’ve got the best defensive record in the country, three or four current internationals and now, with the signing of Robert Taylor this week, a combination of strikers who are second to nobody in the division. And in Nicky Weaver we’ve got the best young goalkeeper in the game.”

Vaughan Cardiff Switch to Start Exodous?

Joe Royle’s promised Maine Road clear out could start to gather pace soon with a move to Cardiff for Tony Vaughan. The ex-Ipswich defender has impressed during his Ninian Park loan spell and tonight’s Manchester Evening News claims the Bluebirds want to sign him permanently. City are believed to be asking £450,000 for Vaughan, and this price is within Cardiff’s reach thanks to a £2.5 million cash injection from Clive Sullivan, brother of Birmingham chairman David. A transfer for Vaughan could begin something of an exodus, with Michael Brown’s loan at Portsmouth possibly leading to a £500,000 permanent deal and Mansfield expressing an interest in buying Chris Greenacre. However, while Pompey certainly have the cash to sign Brown, Greenacre is only likely to stay at Field Mill if the Blues subsidise the transfer. There’s also speculation that City are on the verge of agreeing a pay-off deal with Georgian Murtaz Shelia, while several clubs are believed to be interested in Danny Allsopp following the news that Royle is prepared to part with the Australian for £300,000.

Boss Rubbishes May Rumour

Joe Royle has denounced as “complete fabrication” speculation he could be set to swoop for Manchester United defender David May. Reports earlier in the week linked Old Trafford reserve May with a switch across Manchester to his boyhood favourites. However, the City manager’s comments firmly put paid to the prospect even if the Blues are successful in disposing swiftly of their unwanted squad members. Meanwhile, speculation that the Blues are eyeing 21-year-old Kettering goalkeeper Adam Sollitt seems equally improbable, with Royle having signed Ballymena’s Richard McKinney earlier in the season as cover for Tommy Wright and Nick Weaver.

Youth Team Through to Next Round

City’s youth team marched into the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 2-1 win over Bristol City at Maine Road on Tuesday. England youth player Leon Mike scored both City goals but it was Shaun Wright-Phillips who reportedly looked the brightest of the Blues’ young stars.

Reserves Draw at Vale

City reserves earned a 1-1 draw at Port Vale in Wednesday night’s Pontin’s League clash. Lee Peacock gave the Blues the lead in the first half, before ex-City striker Carl Griffiths equalised on the stroke of half time. Vale, riding high in the Pontin’s League Premier Division, had the better of the second period and only the woodwork denied Griffiths a late winner.

City the Nationwide Top Draw

After being the best supported side in last season’s Second Division by an almost unprecedented margin, Manchester City are continuing to demonstrate their box office attraction this season. Despite being handicapped by a ground capacity inadequate to supply the demand from the club’s fans for match tickets, the Blues have an average home attendance which is around 50% higher than Birmingham and Wolves, the only two other clubs in the section to top the 20,000 mark. The division’s highest attendance so far this season outside Maine Road is the 25,500 at Molineux for Wolves’ Black Country derby against West Brom. This is 4,610 less than the number who saw Sheffield United visit City in August, the match which produced the Blues’ lowest figure in the league this term. Joe Royle’s resurgent team is also a major draw on its travels, with crowds at away grounds being on average 25% up when City are in town. The Blues have drawn their opponents’ biggest home gate so far this season in six of their ten away league games.

City Bidding to Bounce Back

City go into Friday night’s televised away match at Wolves aiming to recover swiftly from the set-back of Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of Huddersfield. And the Blues will also be seeking revenge for Wolves’ win at Maine Road on the opening day of the season. City are set to give a début to Robert Taylor, who will be in direct opposition to former Maine Road skipper Keith Curle – a man who’s invariably in imperious form against his former employers. Mark Kennedy may return from his hamstring injury after missing the last three games. Since being relegated in 1996, City have drawn one and lost four of their meetings with the Molineux club and Joe Royle will feel it’s time for his team to put the record straight. The match is also the first City fixture Sky have screened live since agreeing four weeks ago to take a 9.9% stake in the club.

Wolves Match Set for Sell-Out

City’s match at Wolves on Friday night is set to be played in front of a sell-out 28,000 crowd. The midlands club had only 3,000 tickets for the game unsold on Wednesday afternoon. The fixture, which will see striker Robert Taylor making his City début, has caught the imagination of the Wolverhampton public and with tickets remaining on sale until 5pm on Friday, a capacity crowd is expected. This confirms City’s status as the First Division’s box office attraction, with Wolves having attracted crowds of under 20,000 for each of their two previous home games.

Peter Brophy (


Wolves vs. Manchester City
3rd December 1999, Kick-Off 7.45 p.m

Those supporters who are travelling to this match are advised to arrive as early as possible to avoid congestion. Please set off in good time.

Crewe Alexandra vs. Manchester City
Monday 3rd January 2000, Kick-Off 3.00 p.m
Allocation: 1630
Application Form Required: ‘T’

This match is all ticket. Tickets cannot be guaranteed. Supporters are advised that the sale of these tickets will be strictly postal for the first 5 days of sale.

Please address all correspondence to Manchester City Football Club, P.O. Box No. 178, Manchester, M14 7TA, please include a daytime/nightime contact telephone number.

A limited number of seat tickets priced £14 for adults, £11 for OAP’s and £6.50 for juniors (U16) will be on sale via post from Monday 6th December to regular season ticket holders only with a stub from the Ipswich away game this season.

Following this, tickets will be available via post to regular season ticket holders with no stub from Thursday 9th December.

If tickets remain they will be available to regular season ticket holders who make personal, Dial/Fax credit/debit card bookings from 9.00 a.m. on Saturday 11th December.

The F.A. Cup 3rd Round Sponsored by AXA
Chester City vs. Manchester City
Sunday 12th December 1999, Kick-Off 1.00pm

This match is all ticket and tickets cannot be guaranteed. Supporters are advised that the sale of these tickets will be strictly postal for the first 5 days of sale.

Please address all correspondence to Manchester City Football Club, P.O. Box No. 178, Manchester, M14 7TA, please ensure you leave a daytime/nightime contact telephone number. Please note that to assist priority for this fixture, applications must be made separately from all other match ticket applications.

An extremely limited number of tickets will be on sale via post from Tuesday 30th November to regular season ticket holders only with a stub from the Charlton Athletic away game this season.

Prices are as follows:

Seats:	    Adults £14.00    O.A.P's £10.00    Juniors £7.00
Standing:   Adults £10.00    O.A.P's £7.50     Juniors £5.00

Please state your preference on your application form ‘S’.

Following this, tickets will be available via post to regular season ticket holders with no stub from Friday 3rd December.

For further information please refer to the web site.

MCFC – Ticket Office


The Club would like to know from as many supporters as possible what they feel regarding the catering. They would like to know for the January Fans’ Committee meeting what the supporters think of the selection of food, refreshments and service etc. that is offered at the present time in the different sections of the ground and any ideas that the fans can suggest to improve things.

The next open meeting of the Fans’ Committee is on the 17th January 2000. Please let us know your comments, suggestions and even your criticisms.

Les Saul (


Three City books in just over a month: has the world gone mad? Here’s a stab at listing all the books concerning the Blues, including the trio just published. I don’t claim it to be comprehensive or wholly accurate – and it blurs towards the end – so McVittee readers might like to add, correct and comment upon it (and with a new video just released, perhaps someone might care to list City tapes?).

  • City ‘Til I Die, David Chidlow, Polar Publishing, 1999;
  • Manchester City Cup Kings 1956, John Maddocks and David Saffer, Over The Moon, 1999;
  • Blue Moon: Down Among The Dead Men With Manchester City, Mark Hodkinson, Mainstream, 1999;
  • Kicking With Both Feet – The Inside Story Of How The Game Really Works, Frank Clark (with Nick Kehoe), Headline, 1999;
  • Cups For Cock-Ups: The Extraordinary Story Of Manchester City F.C., Ashley Shaw, Empire Publications Ltd, 1998;
  • Manchester United Ruined My Life, Colin Shindler, Headline, 1998 (and paperback 1999);
  • The Lawman – An Autobiography, Denis Law (with Bernard Bale), Andre Deutsch, 1999;
  • Guvnors, Mickey Francis (with Peter Walsh), Milo Books, 1997;
  • Bleak And Blue: 22 Years At The Manchester Academy Of Football Farce, Craig Winstanley, Sigma, 1998;
  • Soccer Superclubs: Manchester City 1998/9 Soccer Yearbook, Dempsey Parr, 1998;
  • Official Handbooks 1988-89 to 1997-98 (ten), ACL Polar, mainly edited by Julian Baskomb;
  • Manchester City Football Club, ?author, Vadi Mecum Sports Guides Ltd, 1998;
  • Manchester City, ?author, Bookman Projects, 1996;
  • Manchester City: Moments to Remember, John Creighton, Sigma Press, 1992;
  • The Manchester City Football Books 1-4, Peter Gardner, Stanley Paul, (1969-1972);
  • The Manchester City Football Books 1978 & 1979 Peter Gardner, Stanley Paul;
  • Manchester City: A Complete Record, Ray Goble, Breedon Books, 1987;
  • Manchester City: A Complete Record, Andrew Ward & Ray Goble, Breedon Books, 1992;
  • Football Wizard: The Story of Billy Meredith, John Harding, Breedon Books, 1985; (paperback) and Robson Books, 1997 (hardback)
  • Manchester City FC – The 25 Year Record 1973-1998, Michael Robinson, Soccer Books Ltd, 1998;
  • Football With A Smile: The Authorised Biography of Joe Mercer, Gary James, ACL Polar, 1993;
  • From Maine Men To Banana Citizens, Gary James, Temple Press, 1989;
  • The Battle for Manchester City, Alec Johnson, Mainstream, 1994;
  • Footo Facts Of Manchester City, Derrick Edwards, ?publisher, 1996;
  • Soccer Round the World, Francis Lee, Arthur Barker, 1970;
  • City – The Untold Story of the Club That Went Bananas, Peter Oakes, Front Page Books, 1989;
  • Soccer’s Happy Wanderer, Don Revie, Museum Press, 1955;
  • Trautmann: The Biography, Alan Rowlands, Breedon Books, 1990;
  • Football From the Goalmouth, Frank Swift, Sporting Handbooks, 1948;
  • Manchester City – Meredith to Mercer and the FA Cup, Eric Thornton, Robert Hale, 1970;
  • Steppes to Wembley, Bert Trautmann, Robert Hale, 1956;
  • The Manchester City Story, Andrew Ward, Breedon Books, 1984;
  • Manchester City Greats, Ian Whittell, Sportsprint, 1994;
  • The Maine Road Encyclopedia, Ian Penney, Mainstream Publishing, 1995;
  • Blue Heaven, Ian Penney, Mainstream Publishing, 1996;
  • Football Memories of Manchester City, Fred Eyre and Cliff Hayes, Northern Publishing Services, 1996;
  • A-Z of Manchester Football: 100 Years of Rivalry, Derek Brandon, Boondoggle, 1978;
  • Manchester City Football Club: Souvenir History, Fred Johnson, Holt Publishing, 1930;
  • Manchester City: My Team, Mike Doyle, Souvenir Press, 1977;
  • Soccer: Skills of the Game, Tony Book, Crowood Press, 1989;
  • The Pride of Manchester, Steve Cawley and Gary James, ACL Polar, 1990;
  • Colours of my Life, Malcolm Allison (with James Lawton), Everest Books, 1975;
  • The Great Derbies: Manchester United vs. Manchester City, Michael Heatley & Ian Welch, Dial House, 1996;
  • The Manchester City Quizbook, John Maddocks, Mainstream, 1988;
  • Manchester City: An A-Z, Dean Hayes, Sigma, 1996;
  • A Red Dragon of Wales, Roy Paul, Robert Hale, 1956;
  • The Manchester City Story, David Williams, Newservice Ltd, 1947;
  • Soccer for Thinkers, Malcolm Allison, Pelham Books, 1968;
  • The Manchester City FC Official Pictorial History 1880-1997/98, Ed. Mike Hill, Diverse Media, 1997;
  • Manchester – The Greatest City: The Complete History of Manchester City Football Club, Gary James, Polar Publishing, 1997;
  • Let’s Talk About Manchester City Football Club, Tom Morgan, Sentinel, 1947;
  • Manchester City, Neville Sullivan, Longman, 1986;
  • Stan the Man: the Autobiography (Stan Bowles), Ralph Iona, Paper Plane, 1997;
  • Captain Fantastic: My Football Career and World Cup Experience, Mick McCarthy (with Matthew Nugent). The O’Brien Press. 1992;
  • Denis Law – An Autobiography, Denis Law (with Ron Gubba), Queen Anne Press, 1979 (and Futura Publications paperback, 1980);
  • My Dear Watson: The Story of a Football Marriage, Penny Watson, Arthur Barker, 1981;
  • Living For Kicks, Denis Law (with Kenneth Wheeler), Stanley Paul, 1963;
  • The Soccer Crowd: Match Day at Manchester City, Chris Murray, MUS Publications, 1992 (and several similar books by him);
  • Only The Best Is Good Enough, Howard Kendall (with Ian Ross), Mainstream, 1991;
  • The World To Play For, Trevor Francis with David Miller, Sidgewick & Jackson, 1982 (and 1983 paperback);
  • Kicked Into Touch, Fred Eyre, Senior Publications, 1981;
  • What A Game, Fred Eyre & Roy Cavanagh, Transport Publishing, 1983;
  • Another Breath of Fred Eyre, Fred Eyre, Senior Publications, 1983;
  • Taking The Mike, Fred Eyre, Futura, 1991;
  • Back To Paradise, Billy McNeill (with Alex Cameron), Mainstream, 1988;
  • My Story, Matt Busby (with David R Jack), Souvenir Press, 1957;
  • A Strange Kind of Glory: Sir Matt Busby & Manchester United, Eamonn Dunphy, Heinemann, 1991;
  • Man On The Run, Mike Channon, Arthur Barker, 1986;
  • Spotlight On Football, Peter Doherty, Arts & Educational Publishers, 1948;
  • Patsy Hendren:The Cricketer And His Times, Ian R Peebles, Macmillan, 1969;
  • Don Davies: An Old International, Jon Roberts Cox, Stanley Paul, 1962;
  • Trevor Francis World Cup Football Annual 1983, Stafford Pemberton, 1982.

Other Books of Interest

  • We’ll Support You Evermore, Duckworth, 1992, with a chapter on City by Rob Behrens(and several similar books, Survival of the Fattest series, etc…).


  • The Manchester City Story, David Williams, Newsservice, 1947;
  • The Kippax: A Celebration, Noel Bayley, Electric Blue, 1994;
  • Saturday Heroes, BBC, 1977;
  • MCFC Official Yearbooks 1977-78, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82;
  • MCFC Centenary Brochure 1894-95 – 1994-95, Ed. Joanne Parker, MCFC, 1995;
  • MCFC Supporters’ Club Handbooks … ?-?;
  • MCFC Official Record Handbook Commencing 1892, Bill Miles, MCFC, 1976;
  • Standing Ovation: A Tribute to the Kippax, Phil Gatenby, 1994;
  • The Road to Wembley, MCFC, 1955;
  • MCFC Official Handbook 1955, 1956;
  • The City Set, MCFC, 1967;
  • We Are the Champions/Birth of the Blues, MCFC, 1968;
  • Maine Road to Wembley, MCFC, 1969;
  • The Story of the FA Cup ’69 ? … ;
  • Daily Mirror FA Cup Final Souvenir, 1969;
  • Out of the Blues ? Issues 1968-69;
  • Manchester City (including Ardwick) 1892 to 1980, Norman Lovett, British Programme Collectors Club, 1981;

David Butler (


MCFC Diary – 29 September to 25 October

Issue 1

Nick Weaver needed for the U21s vs. Denmark; both Whitleys in the Northern Ireland Squad; Riedle signs for Fulham; City beat Port Vale 2-1 with Bish scoring both! Goater’s injury could keep him out for a few weeks; Russell extends loan spell at Darlo; Pollock not going to Pompey; Nick Fenton joins Notts County on loan; AGM goes well; Peepo back in training; with a free weekend City stay second; Gio to Sheff U? Joe and Willie go Icelander-spotting in France; Tony Vaughan at Cardiff for another month; the Republic get Turkey and England get Scotland in the Euro 2000 play-offs; no action to be taken against Terry Cooke regarding the anti-doping fiasco! Dibs joins Carlisle from Hartlepool on loan for a month; Joe doesn’t pursue his interest in Patrick Suffo; Bradders returns to Pompey for a fraction of what we paid for him; Willie worried about the Scotland/England fixtures; Blues draw at Tranmere; young Kev sent off again; City denied penalty after blatant handling of ball by Clint Hill but not seen by officials; due to the Euro play-offs City’s match vs. Stockport could be played earlier or on the Sunday; City beat Birmingham 1-0 and go top; £1.5m agreed with Leeds for Danny Granville; Stockport match at noon on 13/11; yet again we’re rumoured to be in for Robert Taylor with Gareth Taylor as bait (would save mucking around with shirts I suppose!); Kavelashvili plays for FC Zurich vs. Newcastle in UEFA Cup; Joe confirms that no player will be used as bait/part exchange for Robert Taylor; City beat Blackburn 2-0 with Edgy and Jeff scoring and poor ol’ Kev missing a penalty; Joe feels Craig Brown should take a look at Andy Morrison.

The Skipper Leading the City Ship

A year is a long time in football; this time last year Andy had fallen out with Huddersfield big time. Enter Joe Royle to conclude one of the best transfer deals of all time. It’s said Andy is the most effective stopper and leader since Dave Watson. His off-field life has been well documented but if you dig deeper there’s a serious thinker behind the granite facade – he offers reasoned arguments re officials, not knee-jerk comments. He regrets trying to inject some levity at Fulham with the Stan Collymore incident even though the ref boobed with the cards, he’s pleased he has not been booked for dissent (at the time of the article) which was a goal for him. He admits it’s been a rollercoaster year but says it’s not all been down to him as has been suggested in some quarters. He expected us to get promoted last year but not the success so far this season. He feels that players should play every game as if it was their last, take each game as it comes. He says that any player who has to drop out of the team should be missed but hopes that his replacement would keep the wheels turning; as long as those who are out for a while work their socks off to get back in the team, then they should get their just rewards. As for Scotland vs. England: “I hope we stuff them. It’s as simple as that!”

The Pride of the Peacock

The infamous AWS match last season vs. Mansfield showed Joe what Lee Peacock could do. He kept tabs on him and signed him for £500,000. Lee says he was flabbergasted but delighted. His aim is to get into the team and then become top scorer but he realises he’s not going to be automatically selected but says training with better players can only improve his game. His ultimate goal is to get into the Premiership with City and be top scorer but he doesn’t really mind in which order this happens!

Left Back in the Dressing Room No More

After limping out of the Wolves opening day match after 15 minutes with a pulled hamstring Danny Granville was wondering if his City career would be the shortest on record. David O’Leary sees Ian Harte as his first choice left back at Elland Road and Danny’s injury didn’t really help his cause. Joe fortunately knew better and when Harte got injured DG wasn’t called back. A sinus op ruined his previous pre-season so he caught up this time round and then got injured. He says he’s really hit it off with Mark Kennedy with them working well together down the left. At the time of the article his permanent transfer was still in limbo. Was he surprised that City were doing so well? He said no, the players deserve it but they’d have to keep on going and not sit back. Does he wish he was still involved with Leeds in Europe? Danny replies maybe but you could tell he’s pleased to be at Maine Road. His favourite game so far? The Port Vale game because it was on the back of a few dodgy games and we needed to get something out of it. He concludes by saying that Charlton and Huddersfield are the teams to watch but they’ve got to shift us first!

City’s fan on the Board – John Wardle

John Wardle is one half of the successful JD Sports partnership with David Makin. Both he and David dug deep into their own pockets, investing £5m and loaning £4m, owning 20% of the shares. Both men can come to the ground and not be recognised, both avoid sitting in the directors’ box with John preferring to watch with his friends and family where he can jump up and down and scream with the rest of us! David sits in the Kippax. JD Sports was started 18 years ago with loans from both men’s fathers but the company now has 130 outlets all over the country. John was instrumental in the boardroom changes which saw David Bernstein take over as Chairman and Joe as manager and he does know more about the game than the average director! Once on Bolton’s books, injury ended his dreams and he took his coaching badge alongside Ian Storey-Moore, plying his wares at Radcliffe Borough and the North West Counties League before he had to start earning a living! He knows that you have to work hard to succeed both in business and in football. Both men haven’t invested in City for personal gain but to see their beloved Blues back at the top – they also don’t expect to see their money again! John says if he tried he might ruin the club! He is delighted that David Bernstein is the Chairman, he feels he is a professional in all senses and loves the club as does Joe. Why did he get involved? It was seeing the devastation on the faces of his family and also other fans after relegation from the Premiership. Both felt they had to do more than simply sponsor the Family Stand and their involvement is working; the faces of joy at Wembley made it all worthwhile. They also appreciated being thanked at the AGM. John concludes by saying that he and David both get just as big a kick out of City as when they weren’t so personally involved.

AGM – this has been quite extensively covered in MCIVTA so I won’t go over it again.

Media Watch – Chris Bailey covers what the papers say about us, good or bad!

Mark His Words – Mike Barnett interviews Mark Hodkinson, author of “Blue Moon – down among the dead men with Manchester City” and also reviews “Manchester City – Cup Kings 1956”.

Black and Blue – Chris Bailey interviews boxers Ricky Hatton and Michael Gomez. Ricky at 20 is the WBO Intercontinental light-heavyweight champion and lifelong Blue. Michael, at 22, is a later convert. Both Ricky’s dad and grandad were on City’s books, as a youngster he made it into the embryonic School of Excellence at City but boxing began to play a bigger part in his life and although he was on the books when Kendall was manager he was eventually released ’cause he never got to training! His most abiding memories so far were the 5-1 and the 10-1 and of course Wembley in May with Paul Stewart, Georgi Kinkladze and Niall Quinn among his list of all time greats. Mark Kennedy is his current favourite and he thinks Dickov could make a “decent fighter”! He wears his colours in the ring, his favourite stadium is Maine Road even though he’s appeared in Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden. Michael on the other hand has had a meteoric rise to stardom sadly tinged by the losses of both a sister and his father. He was the British Super-Featherweight Champion in September and aims to win a Lonsdale belt for 3 successful defences of his title before moving up a level. His sombrero-wearing fans are vowing to wear City shirts next time he’s in action; he also takes City reminders everywhere he goes. Michael is a member of both the Moston branch and the Prestwich & Whitefield CSA. Both boxers feel that the good times are about to roll. Michael’s favourite current players are Weaver, Edghill and Morrison and he wouldn’t fancy facing Andy in a scrap! Then again neither would I!

£3K in the Community Chest

A fund-raising dinner was held at UMIST with James H Reeve as the MC and guest speaker was David Johnson. James H was particularly mischievous in announcing one raffle prize which was for the Portsmouth home game! The centrepiece of the evening was Alex Williams presenting Nick Weaver with an engraved lead crystal goblet for passing his own clean sheets record.

Awayday Blues

This was the West Midlands CSA trip to the Tranmere game encompassing a string of accidents, Rag-baiting, naff stewarding (Port Vale was just as bad) and the usual lack of programmes – get there earlier folks!

Blue Notes

This covered Port Vale (h) 2-1, Tranmere (a) 1-1, Birmingham (a) 0-1 and Blackburn Rovers (h) 2-1.

Carol Darvill


Reviewing the latest MCFC and Fans’ Committee meeting, Les Saul said:

“The stadium has been sited to get the maximum amount of sunlight onto the playing surface.”

Surely some mistake here? Who would build a stadium in Manchester if they wanted a sun-drenched pitch?

Leon Black (


Jon Marshall’s article in Monday’s MCIVTA was superb. Short but expressed perfectly, he summed up in 2 brief paragraphs exactly what it means to support City.

I’m lucky enough to have started watching City in 1968 so I’ve seen plenty of good times. But reading Jon’s article it suddenly struck me exactly what it must feel like to be in his situation.

So Jon – well done mate, stick with it (I know you will anyway, we City fans are made of stern stuff, forged in the white hot cauldron of adversity etc…). I hereby nominate your short article as the best “Why Blue” ever!

Steve Maclean (


I know David Beckham isn’t paid for his brains but for his footballing ability, but I was talking to a lady at work this week, her son used to live next to Becksy Wecksy. They could always tell what time David arrived home because his burglar alarm would go off. One day the son went around upon hearing the deafening noise and David had phoned someone at the club to remind him of his number; the son offered his help to remember it, if David spoke it out. Yes, you can guess the rest, David’s number he couldn’t remember 1-2-3-4. The Mensa application is in the post David.

Walter Smith (


For the last two matches we have been listening to match commentary through Real Audio on the computer and at half time the connection seems to collapse and die! Real audio won’t re-connect after that. Has anyone else had this problem or does anyone have any ideas what it is? It is becoming rather frustrating as you can imagine!

Sarah Barber (


Please forgive me, but I’ve stood by and let this go on for far too long.

Manchester City f
An with

Please accept my apologies for this being extremely contrived in the middle – I suppose I could have spent another 3 picoseconds or so thinking of how to make it ‘perfect’, but ironically it seemed somehow more er, appropriate like this. Come on. It needed saying. The birthdays thing was the final straw. I’m sorry. I’ll have to finish now – the nurse is here with my medication.

Keith Riley (


Just when you thought it was safe to go back into McVittee, I have to report that I’ve had some more thoughts about this (sorry)!

Firstly I’ve been thinking about a special subset of these BDS games. That is, results that give a BDS exactly equal to the date the game is actually played on. What am I on about (I wish I knew)? To take an example from my last article, suppose City play on Saturday Feb 1, 2003. If they win 3-0 and score in (say) minutes 5, 11 & 89, then that’s a valid ordinary BDS for somebody who was born on Nov 5th 1989.

But better still, suppose they score in minutes 1, 2 & 3. That would give a valid BDS of 1-2-03 … which would also be identical to the date of the result itself. I think that could be a pretty special claim to fame, if you could say that you had been born on the date that City scored a BDS matching your birthdate.

So forget millenium babies, any of you out there planning on having kids in the next few years, it’s worth thinking about! All you’ve got to do is study the fixture lists, spot a likely match date that might give an identical BDS result, and schedule the conception accordingly (if you want the birth in the September – December range, then you’d have to ask the Football League to give you special preview access to the next season’s fixtures :-))!

Secondly, I’ve been thinking about BDS games that might be valid for the remainder of this year / century if they had to also match the date of the result. Basically, there would have to be either 3 or 4 goals, with the last one in minute 99. So either it’s the 9th minute of injury time (fairly remote probability) or – the only other option – we go to a replay against Chester in the FA Cup and then into extra time. So it would have to be something like:

First goal in minute 1-12, 2nd goal in minute 12, 2-2 at full time, 3rd goal in minute 99 during extra time. Or, first goal in minute 1-12, 2nd goal in minute 12, 3rd goal in minute 19, 3-3 at full time, 4th goal in minute 99 during extra time.

Right that’s it, I promise to shut up about this for ever.

Steve Maclean (


Me and my mates were having a drunken laugh about ex-City goalkeepers who – with all due respect to them – fall into the ‘not-quite-legendary’ category. To add to the indignity, the haircuts of these ex-‘keepers were also ‘judged’. The one favoured by Perry Suckling was immortalised as ‘proto-Redmond’. He would have won, but something which rose from my subconcious took the prize away from Suckling, a barnet classified as ‘Belgian fan of the band Kenny circa 1975″. At this stage, it was becoming a spoken version of the “Where are they now files” so, in tribute to the poor culprit, can anyone out there tell us… what became of Keith MacRae? Sorry for any traumas this might have brought on and apologies to Keith himself, if he’s reading this. I bet he bloody is as well.

Marc Starr (


M. Joyce suggested that the poor form of Terry Cooke might be to do with City’s left wing bias. I offer an alternative view. His girlfriend gave birth just after my lady wife delivered our first bundle of joy. This was around the time Terry joined City. If he’s anything like me, Terry’s form is adequately explained by the fact that he’s completely knackered.

Rich Furniss (


Anyone travelling from the Reading area for the Stockport home game on Tuesday 9th December? Would share expenses etc. Also will probably have a spare Upper Tier Kippax ticket for the game.

Khalid Ahmed (


Man City vs. Wolves, Friday 3rd December Live on Sky.

Are there any Blues in the Essex area planning to watch the game at a pub or club? If so and you don’t mind another Blue coming along let me know. The wife is having some friends round and won’t allow me to watch it at home (yes, I do wear the trousers in my house. The wife just tells me what pair!). I don’t want to be a Billy No Mates, watching the game in the pub on my own. So contact at the address below.

CTTWSO (City ‘Til The Wife Says Otherwise!), Cliff Shelley (


After much persuasion from my mates, I have finally decided to submit my own contribution to ‘Why Blue’ because they all think it does have an unusual angle to the story.

I was born in Wrexham in 1963 of Mancunian parents who had moved to North Wales due to my father’s work commitments. After 3 years we moved back to Manchester, again due to my father’s job, which meant that fortunately I was still too young to have formed any real football allegiance of any significance. Whilst I will always have Wrexham as a good novelty second team, the thought of spending my football following life in North Wales is not one I relish. So the fates decreed that I was a young boy in Manchester in the late 60’s. A place which at the time boasted the finest football team in the country and another one which played in Trafford who had just won some minor competition in front of their own supporter base in London.

I cannot say what made me choose to be a City fan. Indeed, I cannot recall who the opposition were in the first game I went to. What makes my ‘why blue’ a little odd is not why I chose to support City, but why I didn’t choose to support United. Let me explain.

The reason for my family’s nomadic existence was due to my father being a professional footballer. He had started his footballing career as an apprentice at Wolverhampton Wanderers but quickly became homesick and returned to Manchester. He was then signed by TWGC(tm) and progressed through the youth team, playing alongside Duncan Edwards and Bobby Charlton (and winning 2 Youth Cup medals and 2 England youth caps). Whilst playing regularly in the reserves he made his one and only first team appearance for TWGC(tm) in a match against Portsmouth in the late 1950’s. He eventually transferred to Wrexham and played there for 6 seasons before moving on to Stockport County.

As you can imagine, I had a certain amount of respect from my peers as a boy because ‘his dad’s a footballer and he played for United’. I also received respect from adults for the same reason. I can still avidly remember the corner shop from my grandparents’ house in Salford where the shopkeeper would keep me talking about my dad for what seemed like hours, and introducing me to the other customers as ‘the lad whose dad played for United’. Somewhat understandably perhaps, everybody assumed that I must be a U****d supporter although in truth, at the time, I simply liked football without supporting a particular team. Even now, I think back and am somewhat surprised that it never occurred to me to support TWGC(tm).

In about 1970 my uncle, a City supporter, offered to take me to Maine Road and so off I went, oblivious to the fact that my life was about to change forever. If it’s possible for a 7-year-old to be born again, in the way that Christians claim that they finally see the light, then this was clearly a good example of a young boy passing from the darkness of a childhood spent in the bosom of the footballing anti-Christ and into the promised land in Moss Side. I was hooked and my passion for City has never wavered from that day to this.

I have been a season ticket holder for more years than I care to remember. I have attended 71 different league grounds and about 5,000 different pubs following City. My 3 children, by sheer coincidence, also support City with the same passion as me. I will never unduly influence my kids with religion, my own bigotries or my personal opinions. With one exception. They were never, ever, going to support anyone except Manchester City!

It is perhaps inevitable that people find it surprising that I am a passionate Blue, bearing in mind my Dad’s footballing background. Many United fans have admitted that they find it irritating that a man whose father played for TWGC(tm) can have the audacity to even contemplate supporting another team, let alone their fiercest rivals (yes, we still are, despite what the media and some Scousers and Yorkshiremen might claim). Shortly after the final of The European runners-up Cup in May, a U****d supporting work colleague and I had a night out in Manchester. He was pissed up enough to declare ‘It’s a f*****g disgrace that you support City when your dad played for U****d’. I still haven’t stopped laughing at that.

Finally, I have to add that my 2 brothers are also avid Blues. My father continues to take an interest in footballing matters and clearly the influence of his 3 sons is rubbing off on him. My mother confirmed that immediately after U****d scored the second goal in the aforementioned ERUC in Barcelona, he stormed upstairs muttering something that rhymed very closely with ‘fluffy bar-stewards’!

CTSCMISHSU (City till someone convinces me I should have supported U****d), Phil Jones (


Recent results from 18 November 1999 to 2 December 1999 inclusive.

30 November 1999

Charlton Athletic     1 - 2  Blackburn Rovers
Queens Park Rangers   3 - 1  Sheffield United

28 November 1999

Grimsby Town          2 - 1  Norwich City

League table to 1 December 1999 inclusive.

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  GD Pts
 1 Manchester City 20  8  0  2 21  7  5  3  2  9  6 13  3  4 30 13  17  42
 2 Huddersfield T. 21  8  2  0 28  9  4  2  5 10 13 12  4  5 38 22  16  40
 3 Charlton Ath.   20  7  2  2 19 10  5  1  3 18 13 12  3  5 37 23  14  39
 4 Ipswich Town    20  8  1  2 22 11  2  4  3 12 12 10  5  5 34 23  11  35
 5 Barnsley        20  8  0  2 24  9  3  2  5 14 23 11  2  7 38 32   6  35
 6 Fulham          20  5  3  2 11  7  3  5  2 13 11  8  8  4 24 18   6  32
 7 QPR             21  5  6  0 19 12  3  2  5 13 15  8  8  5 32 27   5  32
 8 Birmingham City 20  6  3  1 21  9  2  4  4 11 14  8  7  5 32 23   9  31
 9 Bolton Wndrs    20  6  3  1 19 11  2  4  4 10  9  8  7  5 29 20   9  31
10 Stockport C.    20  5  5  0 17 11  2  2  6  6 17  7  7  6 23 28  -5  28
11 Blackburn R.    19  4  4  2 13  8  2  4  3 10 11  6  8  5 23 19   4  26
12 Wolves          19  3  4  2 11  8  3  4  3  8 10  6  8  5 19 18   1  26
13 Tranmere Rovers 21  6  3  2 19 12  1  2  7  9 18  7  5  9 28 30  -2  26
14 West Brom A.    19  2  7  2 12 11  3  3  2  8  8  5 10  4 20 19   1  25
15 Norwich City    20  5  1  3  9  7  1  6  4  8 11  6  7  7 17 18  -1  25
16 Grimsby Town    20  6  2  2 13 11  1  2  7  8 21  7  4  9 21 32 -11  25
17 Crystal Palace  20  5  3  2 18  8  1  3  6 10 24  6  6  8 28 32  -4  24
18 Nottm Forest    20  4  4  1 16  9  1  2  8  7 17  5  6  9 23 26  -3  21
19 Port Vale       21  4  1  5 11 12  1  5  5 15 19  5  6 10 26 31  -5  21
20 Portsmouth      21  4  4  3 16 11  1  2  7  9 24  5  6 10 25 35 -10  21
21 Sheff. United   21  3  3  4 14 13  1  3  7 10 25  4  6 11 24 38 -14  18
22 Walsall         21  2  4  5  9 14  2  2  6  9 19  4  6 11 18 33 -15  18
23 Crewe Alex.     19  2  3  3  5  8  2  2  7 13 21  4  5 10 18 29 -11  17
24 Swindon Town    21  2  4  4 10 17  1  3  7  5 16  3  7 11 15 33 -18  16

With thanks to Football 365


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The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Ashley Birch,

Newsletter #558